The use of Respondus Monitor and Respondus LockDown Browser has been the source of significant discussion and some apprehension during this unprecedented school year.
While this technology was employed by the College on a limited basis before the COVID-19 pandemic, as we grapple with the restrictions to in-person activity that the pandemic necessitates, remote proctoring has become integral to the College’s ability to ensure the academic integrity of online assessments.
Due to our increased reliance on these tools, and in response to concerns raised by students, a privacy impact assessment (PIA) has been completed to assess the privacy risk associated with the use of Respondus Monitor and LockDown Browser and ensure it is being adequately mitigated by the contractual, administrative and technical safeguards employed by Respondus Inc., as the collector and processor of personal information, and the College as the end user of the personal information collected by Respondus.
A final report will summarize the findings of the PIA and make recommendations for measures that will mitigate privacy risk and facilitate compliance with the College’s privacy policies and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).
One of the key findings of the PIA pertains to the importance of providing students with adequate information and notice regarding the collection of their personal information by Respondus.
It is our responsibility to provide notice of collection when we collect student personal information. Every time a student takes an online assessment that uses Respondus Monitor and LockDown Browser, we must let them know under what authority their information is being collected, how it will be used, and who they can contact with any questions they may have about the collection.
To that end, a notice of collection has been developed and should be used every time an online assessment is delivered using these tools. As well, an Online Proctoring Privacy Notice has been created to be posted in D2L, on course outlines, etc. to ensure that students are aware when online proctoring will be used in an online course.
The PIA has also highlighted the need for a procedure to inform the use of online proctoring software. The working group that was convened to develop a policy related to video conferencing has since expanded the scope of its work to encompass privacy considerations related to all technology that facilitates remote learning, working, and service delivery. The overarching policy will undergo stakeholder review in the coming weeks, and the group will turn its attention to developing procedures specific to the use of video conferencing and online proctoring technologies.
In the meantime, where possible, please continue to consider assessments that do not rely on Respondus Monitor and LockDown Browser (you can contact LDS for advice) and if a student requests to not be tested using these tools due to concerns related to this technology, please respect that request.